Cybercriminals ‘drained ATMs’ in $45m world bank heist

By | May 10, 2013

A gang of cybercriminals stole $45m (£29m) by hacking into a database of prepaid debit cards and draining cash machines around the world, US prosecutors say.

Seven people have been charged in New York over the heist, which allegedly stretched across 26 countries.

An eighth suspect is thought to have been murdered in April.

The network used fake cards to target banks in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, court documents said.

Prosecutors said law enforcement agencies in Japan, Canada, the UK, Romania and 12 other countries were involved in the investigation.

Arrests had been made in other countries, they said, although details were not released.

‘Laptops not guns’

“The defendants and their co-conspirators participated in a massive 21st Century bank heist that reached across the internet and stretched around the globe,” Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

“In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organisation used laptops and the internet.”

Members of the scheme allegedly hacked computer systems to steal data on prepaid debit cards. The cards are pre-loaded with funds rather than being linked to a bank account or a line of credit.

They cancelled withdrawal limits and distributed information to accomplices referred to as “cashers” around the world.

The cashers then loaded other magnetic stripe cards, such as gift cards or old hotel keys, with the stolen data and used them to withdraw huge sums. …

via BBC News – Cybercriminals ‘drained ATMs’ in $45m world bank heist.

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